The End of an Era – I’ve Finished University

May 31, 2020

On Wednesday I submitted my final ever university essay, bringing not just four years of degree study, but almost 15 years of education to an end… (unless I decide to do a panic Masters!)

I’ve heard a lot of people say I’ve reached ‘the end of an era’: all the ups and downs I’ve experienced throughout the course of my degree and all the w ork I’ve put into the last four years has paid off. The question I’ve been asked a lot over the last few days is asking how does it feel to be finally finished?

Joy? Excitement? Fear? Sadness? How are you meant to feel on finishing your degree?  For me, whilst I feel proud of everything I have achieved during my time at university, ultimately an element of sadness has kicked in. I will struggle saying goodbye to the town I’ve called home for several years, and to all the friends I’ve made along the way – the people l’ve lived with, partied with, laughed with and confided in.

Although I will keep in contact with my friends, it will be still hard to adjust to not being able to see them easily, especially since lockdown meant I haven’t been able to celebrate and say goodbye to many of them in person.

Another question that’s been floating around for a while now is what I’m planning on doing next. For me, this one has caused a lot of worry as I honestly have nothing concrete planned for what I am going to be doing after I leave the university bubble (which is inevitably going to pop in the next couple months when the tenancy ends on my university house).

If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said I would hope to have got a graduate role working in the field of journalism or an enrolled on a masters to become a NCTJ accredited. However, given the current situation wherein many companies are understandably on a recruitment freeze and many universities are looking to postpone lectures until January 2021, I have not got anything planned yet.

Whilst I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of companies, I feel very uncertain about what the next year will bring for me. At the moment, its looking likely that I will live out the reminder of my student days in my university house, and then have to move back home for an interim period whilst the world goes back to a state of somewhat normality.

A big part of life is change and it is something that sadly is unavoidable. However, fear of the unknown is something that I personally struggle with – I am normally a meticulous planner (the worrying amount of notes on my phone highlights this). Therefore, this sort of limbo state I am currently in is at times tricky, especially as every other year of my life has had a planned next step: after GCSEs I went onto A-Levels, after that university, after second year was placement etc.

Despite these feelings of uncertainty, I am on the whole feeling positive, and try to remember that everyone graduating this year is in the same boat. Also, these next few months will be one of the only times in my life that I will be able to live with friends with no pressure of assignments or exams, and I am looking forward to many a long walk, picnic and games night (although NOT monopoly as that is the most stressful board game I have ever played!)

So the answer to the question of how I feel to be finishing university is – there is no set way to how I feel. I’m experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, both good and bad. For the most part, the feelings are bittersweet; I’ve loved the university life, and can only hope that there is so much more good to come.

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